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Monday's Tony Talking Points
Political Correctness Runs Amok
Posted: Monday, February 20th, 2006, 7:35 AM
It will be interesting to see how Vol fans react to some turbulence. Everybody loves to fly when the skies are smooth. A blowout loss on the road where Tennessee barely showed up coupled with a trip to Gainesville seem like a good heat check among our fan base. How many people were riding the wave? How many are in it for the long haul? Speaking of fan bases: Did you notice the raucous sell-out crowd on hand for our Vols? Pearl is Spurrierizing this league. They will be marked every time they take the floor!

On the court, know this: Bruce Pearl and the coaching staff will use the second half of the Auburn game and the entire ĎBama game to make the point that Tennessee although highly ranked, is by no means a juggernaut that can just roll the ball out there and expect to win. If these guys donít work on every possession (especially on defense), it will be Buzzball city when it comes to results! BTW: Donít write off UT at Florida. Anything can happen. Tennessee must be able to extend Florida to win. Itís amazing these guys have as many wins as they do with the limitations/mismatch difficulties defensively that they face night in and night out. Great coaching and desire to this point!

Is it me, or were those guys racing on a slot car track yesterday in Daytona? That was one dreadfully boring race yesterday. Congrats to Jimmy Johnson. Wonder how illegal he was yesterday? The most comical part of the race was seeing the NASCAR officials surround the car after the ticker tape flew. They were cleaning off the mounds of tape stuck to the car but were also not allowing anyone else near it so as to protect itís integrity for the vaunted post race inspection. Why was I waiting for the Macho Man or The Undertake to make an appearance at the victory celebration? Remember: We kick off our NASCAR coverage Wednesday at noon thirtyish w/ Nascar at Noon presented by your friends at C&D Wholesale Tire. While weíre on the subject, has Tony Stewart ever taken the blame for anything? He was out of control yesterday yet took no responsibility! What a commodian!

Would somebody please let me know when the NBA ALL-Star Game is on? I need to Tivo it!!!! Also, I heard that Ricky Williams was going to be the mascot of this years game. I heard something about him and Ontario SmithÖ...

You want an indictment with whatís going on in America these days? Hereís one. The male population (us guys) are better with brooms than the ladies among us. Our men are in the semi-finals in curling while our womenís team (beautiful as they are) has been eliminated from medal contention. Since curling is the sport where sweeping with the broom is considered a skill, perhaps itís only appropriate that we give our ladies a little more practice this week! Try it at home and get back to me!

Ordinarily that last piece would qualify as my kicker. Today however we have to rewind to this comment from one time Buzz signee Tyler Smith on UTís current hoops success under Pearl. Try to interpret this sort of compliment. "I'm glad they're doing great," Tyler said. "Tennessee needed that. They're playing good defense and getting up and down the court. They're not great players, but they know their roles. Coach Peterson couldn't get that through to them.
"With Coach Pearl, I don't think it's coaching. I think it's how guys interpret what he says.
"People say, 'Tyler, don't you wish you were there with them now?' But I can't sit here and say I regret it. This (playing hoops at Hargrave, BF Egypt) has been a great learning experience for me."
BWT: Smithís list of potential schools surprisingly (to Don from Sweetwater) doesnít include Tennessee. Kentucky, Memphis and Pittsburgh are potential destinations.
And finally this from my boy Mike Huguenin of the Orlando Sentinel.
Bad news for CBS is good news for ESPN. Todd Blackledge, who had been part of CBS' coverage for the past seven seasons, is returning to ESPN, where he will be the analyst on the network's marquee Saturday night game. He will work with play-by-play guy Mike Patrick. Man, isn't Patrick lucky? He goes from having to work with Joe "I never met a point I couldn't hammer home for an hour" Theismann to working with the understated Blackledge.

Kudos to Miami for agreeing to play Oklahoma in 2007 and 2009. There's no question UM and Florida State have made an effort to play tough out-of-state non-conference opponents. (Hmm -- which of the state's "Big Three" is missing from that sentence? And, please, no e-mails saying, "We play a tough-enough conference schedule as it is.")

It was a busy week for Earl Lane, who held three jobs in that time span. First, he was the defensive line coach at USF. Then, he resigned at USF to become the defensive line coach at Wisconsin. Then, he resigned at Wisconsin to become the defensive line coach at LSU.

Remember boys and girls. Keep the e-mails coming. Who you are. Where you are. How you are. We want to hear from you. It's amazing how many listeners we have across our great region!
Peace & God Bless
TB

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